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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

From my book "Irish Blessings, Toasts and Proverbs" by John William Tuohy






Irish Proverbs: Drinking

A man takes a drink, the drink takes a drink, the drink takes the man.

It’s the first drop that destroys you, there’s no harm at all in the last.

If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water.


Irish Proverbs: Work & Idleness

It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe.

It’s a dirty bird that won’t keep its own nest clean.

Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.

A bad workman quarrels with his tools.

Unwillingness easily finds an excuse.

Lose an hour in the morning and you’ll be looking for it all day.

Laziness is a heavy burden.

Poverty waits at the gates of idleness.



Irish Proverbs: Youth & Old Age

Praise the ripe field not the green corn.

Young people don’t know what old age is, and old people forget what youth was.

The schoolhouse bell sounds bitter in youth and sweet in old age.

The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.

As the old cock crows, the young cock learns.

The old dog for the hard road and leave the pup on the path.



Irish Proverbs: Romance & Marriage

It's easy to halve the potato where there's love.

If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.

Beauty won't make the kettle boil.

Honey is sweet, but don’t lick it off a briar.

Don’t show your skin to a person who won’t cover it.

A man cannot grow rich without his wife's leave.



Irish Proverbs: Character & Honor

Better good manners than good looks.

It is more difficult to maintain honour than to become prosperous.

Promise is in honor’s debt.

Forgetting a debt doesn’t mean it’s paid.

A man may live after losing his life but not after losing his honor.

Better to be a man of character than a man of means.

Better the trouble that follows death than the trouble that follows shame.

If you come up in this world be sure not to go down in the next.

Who gossips with you will gossip of you.

Lie down with dogs and you’ll rise with fleas.


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